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IP Update: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: Jul 1, 2010

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Medical Diagnostic Laboratories has been awarded US Patent No.7,745,595, "Compositions and methods for detecting Atopobium vaginae."

Jason Trama, Martin Adelson, and Eli Mordechai are named as inventors on the patent.

The patent protects oligonucleotides for use in determining whether a sample contains Atopobium vaginae, an organism correlated with bacterial vaginosis. The oligonucleotides have nucleotide sequences derived from a segment of the genome of A. vaginae and are useful as forward and reverse primers for PCR using nucleic acids from a biological sample as a template, and as probes for detecting any resultant amplicon, according to the patent abstract.



University of Utah Research Foundation
has been awarded US Patent No.7,745,205, "Container for carrying out and monitoring biological processes."

Carl Wittwer and Kirk Ririe are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a thermal cycling method and device. The device comprises a sample chamber "whose temperature can be rapidly and accurately modulated over a range of temperatures needed to carry out a number of biological procedures, such as the DNA polymerase chain reaction," according to the patent abstract. Biological samples are placed in containers, each comprising a reservoir and a small-volume reaction portion, which permits the rapid and accurate temperature modulation. "With an optically transmissible reaction portion, DNA amplification may be monitored by fluorescence during PCR," the abstract states.


Hitachi Chemical has been awarded US Patent No.7,745,180, "Device and method for high-throughput quantification of mRNA from whole blood."

Masato Mitsuhashi is the sole inventor on the patent.

Protects a method, device kit, and automated system for "simple, reproducible, and high-throughput quantification of mRNA from whole blood," according to the patent abstract. In particular, the method, device, kit and automated system involve combinations of leukocyte filters attached to oligo(dT)-immobilized multi-well plates.


Affymetrix has been awarded US Patent No.7,745,178, "Complexity management of genomic DNA."

Shoulian Dong is the sole inventor on the patent.

Describes methods and kits for "reducing the complexity of a nucleic acid sample by providing non-gel based methods for amplification of a subset of the sequences in a sample," according to the patent abstract. Amplification of a subset can be accomplished by digesting a sample with two or more restriction enzymes and ligating adaptors to the fragments so that only a subset of the fragments can be amplified. The invention further provides for analysis of the amplified sample by hybridization to an array, which may be specifically designed to interrogate the desired fragments for particular characteristics.


Eiken Kagaku has been awarded US Patent No.7,745,135, "Method for detecting reaction product of nucleic acid synthesis."

Yasuyoshi Mori and Kentaro Nagamine are named as inventors on the patent.

Protects a method for detecting the occurrence of nucleic acid syntheses "using an enzyme through the use of a generated insoluble substance as an indicator," according to the patent abstract. The patent's claims describe a kit for detecting the occurrence of nucleic acid amplification or for monitoring nucleic acid amplification.


The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.